Madison Sides

Madison Sides


English, French

Beaver Lake, NE

Why you chose your major

I originally planned to do a STEM major, but I realized that my true passion lies in the humanities. During my freshman year, I had a long conversation with my poetry professor about what you can do with an English degree after college, and once I heard about the practically endless opportunities, I knew that was what I wanted to do. For French, I started out taking French classes for fun, but fell in love with our tight-knit department. I know that being bilingual will make me a more valuable employee, and a better global citizen.

Favorite and/or most impactful course

The class that has had the biggest impact on me was French Phonetics (FREN 319). It's taught by Catherine Johnson, a native French speaker and phenomenal professor. I learned so much about the French language, and my pronunciation and speaking abilities increased astronomically in that one semester. Speaking has been the hardest area of language learning for me since roughly half of my college French courses have been online due to COVID, so taking phonetics helped me catch up to where I wanted to be.

Research or internship experience

Nebraska Writers Collective: I helped create and organize Nebraska's first ever Youth Poet Laureate competition, and I visited different middle and high school poetry practices every week! The internship was heavily focused on Nebraska's secondary school slam poetry competition, Louder Than A Bomb, but since this took place during COVID, we had to improvise by using Zoom calls and lots of Google Docs.

Other involvement

I'm very involved with the band programs within the School of Music. I'm the captain of UNL's color guard, play oboe in one of the ensembles, and I'm president of the band fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi. I serve as the Lied Center's education intern, which means I get to promote the Lied Center's performances to UNL students, but also students all across Nebraska. I'm also a member of the Innocents Society, which is the Chancellor's Senior Honorary.

Why you chose Nebraska

UNL turned out to be the best option for me financially, and I knew I wanted to go to a bigger school with lots of majors and a marching band!

Student Ambassadors group

Student Ambassadors are undergraduate students who talk to prospective students, parents, alumni, and the general public about the college.